The modern Collie, in both smooth and rough varieties, may be the best-kept secret in dogdom.
Here’s why you really want a Collie.
In the 1950s, when every household with children tuned into the TV series “Lassie” and Eric Knight’s novel “Lassie Come Home” could be found in every school library, the Collie was in high demand. Albert Payson Terhune’s series of books about his Sunnybank Collies, beginning with “Lad, A Dog,” was still selling briskly, although Terhune passed away in 1943.
Since then, other breeds have become more prominent, and Collie popularity has lost some of its luster.
The Collie himself, though, has lost nothing in the intervening years. If anything, he is healthier, more sweet-tempered, more versatile, and even more beautiful than he used to be. His relative obscurity in recent years has helped in that regard. Careful, selective “preservationist” breeders have helped the Collie eliminate and avoid many health problems plaguing other purebred dogs, especially those overbred to meet popular demand. Just one more reason the Collie is the best family dog! More Fun Facts About Collies.
While originally bred for herding – which he still does well – today’s Collie competes and earns advanced titles in many other dog sports: rally, obedience, agility, scent work, lure coursing, and barn hunt, for example. Collies make excellent search and rescue, service, and therapy dogs. Because they are naturally non-aggressive, Collies are an ideal choice for the family with children and other pets. Because of their sweet, peaceable temperament and easy-to-live-with habits, they are also a perfect companion for older people, empty nesters, and grandparents.
When families research breeds to find a puppy, many assume the best choice must be a Lab or a Golden Retriever, which consistently tops the charts for most popular American breeds. To consider a Collie, most people think they need a vacuum cleaner in every room! And yet, the Rough Collie sheds only during a short season of the year, while the Lab or the Golden sheds continuously. The Rough Collie’s luxurious coat is surprisingly low maintenance; it repels water and dirt, and the dog has naturally clean habits.
In addition, Collie’s skin does not produce the oil which is the source of “doggy odor.” Collies don’t stink even when wet! Still, if you love the beauty and sweetness of Collies, but are opposed to long hair on a dog, the solution is the short-haired variety, the Smooth Collie. Just as wonderful, just not as hairy!
After seeing the devastation genetic mutations in overbred dog populations cause, today’s preservationist Collie breeders have used research findings from our Collie Health Foundation, and genetic testing, to breed away from the most dangerous mutations formerly found in the breed. (Article: Collie Health and Genetics)
This might surprise you: the Collie does not require copious amounts of exercise, compared to other breeds his size. Sorry, but many descriptions of Collies in those online breed info sites that call the Collie a “high energy breed” have never lived with one! My Collies are 80% couch lounger, 20%
thinking about maybe going outside, and 100% hug-lovers.
We have an ideal situation: more than one Collie, so they have someone to chase, and a doggie door to a good-sized fenced backyard.
Both Rough and Smooth coated Collies need regular brushing, like any breed, but not an excessive amount. Outside of their annual shed, our Rough Collies are brushed about every two weeks. Grinding nails with a good cordless dremel takes a couple of minutes and keeps dogs from splaying feet and scratching floors. We begin working with puppy toes from one week of age, to avoid pedicure freak-outs when they are older! Their future owners love this!
Mats may form behind ears, where the hair is silky fine. A little baby powder and comb takes care of them.
I use a great-smelling grooming spray, but may I remind you, Collie coats are odorless!